Geelong list manager Stephen Wells admits the Cats will find it very difficult to land AFL trade targets Brett Deledio and Zach Tuohy.
The pair have requested trades from Richmond and Carlton respectively after their management approached Geelong late in the season.
But Wells’ hands are largely tied following last year’s trade bonanza that netted Patrick Dangerfield, Zac Smith, Lachie Henderson and Scott Selwood.
The Cats don’t have the requisite draft picks to satisfy the Tigers and the Blues, they don’t have the salary cap space to pay the pair and they won’t force any players out to give themselves room to manoeuvre at the trade table.
“To add Brett and Zach would be great but we’ve made it very clear to those players and their managers … that we’re not really expecting this to happen,” Wells told SEN on Tuesday.
“It’s a bit different to this time last year when we brought in four players.
“We’d been preparing for that for quite a long time, probably a couple of years really, and had the draft picks and the salary cap space and positions on our list where we were able to do those four trades.
“Whereas this year, coming late, it’s going to be a bit harder for us to do.”
Geelong’s first pick at this year’s draft is currently at No.36 after they sent their first-round pick to Carlton to secure Henderson last year.
AFL rules governing the trading of future draft picks mean they can’t do the same with picks from next year’s draft to land Deledio or Tuohy.
Wells said the Tigers had relayed what they would need to be satisfied in a trade and although he didn’t divulge what that was, he said it was a lot.
Forward Shane Kersten and ruckman Nathan Vardy have attracted interest from rival clubs and are unlikely to remain at Geelong but trading out that pair alone is unlikely to give them the currency they need.
Steven Motlop had been seen as a key trading chip the Cats could use to either land Deledio or gain a pick and free up salary cap space.
But Richmond have already rejected his involvement in a trade and Wells admitted there hadn’t been as much interest in the mercurial midfielder as he’d anticipated.
“Steven is a contracted player and we like him,” he said.
“But if clubs bring his name up we’ll be happy to talk to them … at this stage there hasn’t been a lot of conversation with other clubs about Steven.”